Did you know that there has only ever been one story? Throughout all of time and space, there has been one original story, and from that story all others are derived. Ideas are twisted, plots are shifted, but overall it always remains a new twist the same story. Mind-boggling, isn’t it?
What really gets me is that we read all of these stories, and each time the plots take us by surprise, even though we’ve read something similar thousands of times before (unless you don’t read. In that case, just ignore this entire post.). Authors derive their stories from experiences they’ve had, lessons they’ve learned, and stories that they have heard earlier in their lives. Sometimes they even do this subconsciously. It’s like when you have the weirdest dreams and you have no idea where it came from; it was simply your subconscious working out some of its issues. Same thing with when you’re writing.
Now you may be thinking, “Wait, I know this isn’t true! I’ve read tons of books and they are all different for the most part!”. Well, my dearest reader, that’s the brilliance of it. Each author tweaks their story just enough from the original story that it becomes a new story within an old one, sometimes even being a new story within a new one within the oldest, original one. Usually, each author derives bits of their stories from other peoples’ stories who derived their stories from other stories still, making it a new story within a new/old story within a new/new/old story within the original old story (storyception!).
Just think about it, though. Where did Star Wars come from? (And no, it wasn’t an original work.) The idea was taken from a book written by Edgar Rice Borroughs called A Princess of Mars (a really good read, and you can get it for free on your kindle!), who wrote his book in the 20th century. Where did Harry Potter come from? Mainly, from Lord of the Rings! (And for you geeks out there, there was this really ignorant kid who thought that Tolkien had taken LOTR from Harry Potter, and he was completely dissing Tolkien. I just wanted to teach that kid a lesson. Kids.)
Every idea is derived from another idea. And with that in mind, wouldn’t you just LOVE to know what the original story was? It could be the most exciting tale ever told, or it could be excruciatingly boring, which is why authors started tweaking it in the first place. Either way, we’ll never know, because the original story is UNKNOWN.
But think about that every time you read a new or old book; each time, you will find ideas and plots that have been taken from other novels or stories and tweaked to fit the setting of the book. You will never read the same way ever again.